Discuss how these how features work together in conjunction with Authentic Leadership. 

Discuss how these how features work together in conjunction with Authentic Leadership. 

In today’s global world where people often have to travel to a different country for work or they have to work in teams where he finds himself among people from different cultures, being culturally intelligent is absolutely essential. People from different cultural backgrounds behave differently, culturally intelligent managers need to know how to function in a culturally diverse situation.   

In the past few weeks, we have learned that cultural intelligence has the following components

·       metacognitive and cognitive CQ

·       motivational CQ, and behavioral CQ (Ng & Earley, 2006)

Authentic leadership which goes hand in hand with CQ, has four components:

Self-awareness, balanced processing, relational transparency, and an internalized moral/ethical perspective. These can be broken down into cognitive, motivational, and active processes and they can work together with cultural intelligence, allowing a leader to attain a morally grounded cultural adaptation in any cultural setting.

When we talk about the metacognitive and cognitive CQ, we can see how self-awareness is a part of these. With cognitive CQ, one acquires information about his or her surroundings, about the differences. Metacognitive CQ is about how the person processes the information. As part of cognitive CQ the person can notice the difference in behavior, as part of metacognitive CQ, the person processes the information or tries to understand it better. Being self-aware which is a second cognitive component, allows leaders to move beyond their ego and misconceptions about themselves (Kernis, 2003)

Motivational processes are about having motivation for the leaders to learn something, in this case being culturally intelligent. In case of an authentic leader, the person usually chooses what is ethically and morally right, since for an authentic leader moral, values self-concept and self-worth are very important (Rest, Narvaez, Bebeau, & Thoma, 1999, p. 101). So, the reason behind learning about other cultures, developing cultural intelligence to deal with different people within the team or outside team from different cultural background is simple for authentic leaders. They want to do what is right, hence they learn to adapt.

Behavioral processes are how the authentic leader behaves or adapt and learn to beave in the changed environment. First, the leader recognizes the changed environment, then he understands what needs to change and why. Since he or she is willing to adapt, they change their behavior per the environment.

From the perspective of a leader within your organization, focus on how each feature specifically interacts with cultural intelligence and authentic leadership.    

            I have always worked for multinational companies working in different geographies. Since I am from India, I understand Indian people better than others. So, I will refer to Indian manager, what I have noticed they do when they are here in the USA.      

            Indian society has a hierarchy and as a result, there is an expectation from the leaders that they will not be questioned. But when they come over here, they face a different reality, and to be honest, in past, I have noticed many managers struggling to manage their teams, the simply could not grasp the cultural change. Now I understand they were simply not culturally intelligent and they could not adapt. They expected the employees to listen to them, work extra-long hours or weekends, but when those things did not happen, I could see the frustration in them. But this is mostly true for managers who did not develop cultural intelligence, they did not adapt or change their behavior and often failed as leaders.

In my current organization, I see leaders who are from India but culturally intelligent. They have adapted as per the culture over here. But I have a feeling, overall organizational values, principle, culture play a big role in how individual leaders would adapt.  As a matter of fact, I think the organizational policy plays an important role too, to make sure the employees are treated fairly regardless of the leader is culturally intelligent or not.

Global leaders need to be able to nimbly adapt to different situations, adjusting quickly.  How does having high cultural intelligence allow a leader to adapt to novel situations?

            In any large organization, there are people working from a different cultural background. And in some multinational organizations leaders often get opportunities in different geographies. So, being in a leadership role it is eminent that the leader will be dealing with people from different cultures. And it is essential for leaders to develop CQ. Cultural intelligence is the ability to interact effectively with culturally different people learn to behave appropriately and adapt in a new cultural setting (Thomas, 2006, p. 80).

            As I have already mentioned that I have seen leaders fail in their job who could not adopt because they did not develop cultural intelligence. So, to be successful as a leader, a leader needs to lead the team and to lead effectively, the leader has to understand and motivate the team to accomplish goals. So, be it understanding the team members or having self-efficacy or adapting in new cultural setup, a leader must have high cultural intelligence. Because no organization gives indefinite time to adapt, as every project comes with a deadline and goals.


Ng, K. Y., & Earley, C. P. (2006). Culture + intelligence: Old constructs, new frontiers. Group & Organization Management, 31(1), 4-19.

Kernis, M. H. (2003). Toward a conceptualization of optimal self-esteem. Psychological Inquiry, 14, 1-26.

Rest, J. R., Narvaez, D., Bebeau, M. J., & Thoma, S. J. (1999). Postcoventional moral thinking: A neo-Kohlbergian approach. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Thomas, D. C. (2006). Domain and development of cultural intelligence: The importance of mindfulness. Group & Organization Management, 31(1), 78-99.